Tag Archives: #TBT

Marl Young: The groundbreaking legacy of a civil rights leader

Rhythm Club President, Marl – pictured with Musicians’ Club Secretary Maury Paul (left), NAACP Secretary Lester Bailey (standing, center) and Rhythm Club Secretary Estelle Edson (right) – signs the final document transferring Local 767 Rhythm Club assets to the Local 47 Musicians’ Club of Los Angeles in March of 1953, marking the final step in the amalgamation of the two Locals. (Photo: AFM Local 47 Overture archives)

Throughout his esteemed career, Marl Young was known for breaking ground. A civil rights leader within the American Federation of Musicians, he was instrumental in the historic merger of the former all-black Local 767 and all-white Local 47 in the 1950s, which set the precedent for desegregation within the entire musicians union of the United States and Canada. In 1970 he became the first black music director of a major network television series, “Here’s Lucy.” Young served as a longtime director of the Los Angeles musicians union and remained an activist until his retirement in January 2009. He died on April 29, 2009, at age 92. Continue reading

#TBT: A Great Day in L.A.

In this #TBT Throwback Thursday post, we take a look back to A Great Day in L.A.!


Hundreds of Los Angeles jazz musicians create a contemporary version of the historic 1958 photo “A Great Day in Harlem”

It was “A Great Day in L.A.” indeed Oct. 12, 2008, when over 250 musicians gathered together to take part in a historic photo shoot for the world of jazz. Continue reading

Interview with ‘The Nightwatchman’ Tom Morello: A Union Man’s-Man

#TBT time! Having met up with Tom Morello at last week’s May Day rally, this Throwback Thursday post is in honor of “The Nightwatchman.” This interview was originally published in the July 2011 AFM Local 47 Overture.


Tom Morello – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
Carl Restivo – bass, backing vocals
Eric Gardner – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Chris Joyner – piano, keyboards, backing vocals
Ed Roth – organ

Tom Morello is as well known for his heavy guitar riffs with Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Street Sweeper Social Club and his solo acoustic act The Nightwatchman as he is for fervent political activism. Co-founder of the political group Axis of Justice, whose declared purpose is “to bring together musicians, fans of music, and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice together,” Morello has championed causes ranging from immigration reform and ending war to abolishing torture and the death penalty. Inspired by the labor struggles in Wisconsin, his “Union Town” EP aims to invigorate listeners to stand up, get active and fight for the rights of workers, with 100% of proceeds from record sales going directly toward this cause. This interview by Linda A. Rapka. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Us! Local 47 turns 118

1941_11 Nov - 47 is 47_Page_1

On March 15, 2015, Local 47 turns 118. To celebrate, here’s a look back at the humble beginnings of the musicians union of Los Angeles.

While searching the Local’s archives last month we stumbled upon the November 1941 issue of the Overture which featured an article by former president C. L. Bagley titled “47 is 47: Local No. 47 Has a Birthday.” Therein Bagley described in detail some interesting historical aspects of the very beginnings of our union, much of which is shared in this post. Click on the images in this post to view scans of the original documents.

On March 15, 1897, Local 47’s charter and affiliation was approved by the American Federation of Musicians. This monumental day marked the end of a long struggle musicians in Los Angeles who tried, then failed, and ultimately succeeded succeeded in effectively organizing with the union we belong to today. Continue reading

Bing Crosby, Maestro Burns Named Members of Local 47 (from the archives)

1941_04_April_Bing Crosby

#TBT – This Throwback Thursday post goes WAY back: This article originally appeared in the April 1941 issue of the AFM Local 47 Overture!


Members of Local 47 take a great deal of pleasure in welcoming two of the finest gentlemen they know into their Association: Bing Crosby and Bob Burns. Continue reading

Symphony in an Airport

Emmanuel Fratianni conducts the 70-piece Hollywood Scoring Orchestra at the preview opening gala of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX on June 20, 2013. Photos courtesy of Laurie Robinson

Emmanuel Fratianni conducts the 70-piece Hollywood Scoring Orchestra at the preview opening gala of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX on June 20, 2013. Photos courtesy of Laurie Robinson

(#TBT Throwback Thursday post: This article originally appeared in the August 2013 issue of the AFM Local 47 Overture.)

70-piece Hollywood Scoring Orchestra plays once-in-a-lifetime gig at new LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

by Linda A. Rapka

In what marked possibly the first world premiere of a symphonic poem ever to take place at an airport, the Hollywood Scoring Orchestra provided a once-in-a-lifetime musical experience at Los Angeles International Airport June 20 with the debut of “Portale — A Symphonic Poem,” especially composed by Emmanuel Fratianni and Laurie Robinson. Continue reading